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PCA Skin Certified Professionals
Aesthetician and PCA SKIN Professional, Marion Simms of Skin Sense Wellness Spa, answers the most common SPF questions.

your SPF questions answered

A Q&A with a PCA SKIN professional

Q: What inspired you to become an aesthetician? How long have you been an aesthetician?

A: I had moderate acne in my teens so my Mum sent me to an aesthetician to advise me. My skin cleared quickly and even though I didn’t go straight into skincare after graduation, I always remembered the impact that having clear skin had on my self-esteem. Working in London a few years later I took an evening class in skin care and cosmetics and I was hooked. I have been an aesthetician for 35 years.

Q: Tell us a little about your practice.

A: In my practice, I offer customized treatments to all my clients and have two other aestheticians that are trained to do the same. Regardless of whether the client is new or long standing, a consultation is always done before deciding on what protocol to use. We combine electrotherapy, enzyme treatments, mild to moderate peels and aromatherapy at any given time, and we stay current with advances that are safe and effective.

Q: Why is it important for people to use a broad spectrum SPF?

A: A broad spectrum sunscreen in my opinion is the cornerstone of any effective skin care regime. It offers protection on a daily basis from aging, pigmentation and cancer. I think most clients now realize that poolside and at the beach it is necessary to apply sunscreen but we still battle with daily application and the risks of incidental sun exposure. This is where the aesthetician plays a vital role.

Q: What is the most common question you receive about daily SPF use? How do you answer it?

A: Clients are always concerned about texture and smell. Does the product leave a chalky film on the skin? Will it clog my pores or make my skin shiny? Does it have a strong odor?

I tell my clients to look for sunscreens that have very little odor with a texture that is light enough to be quickly and easily absorbed into the skin. Blotting can be done if clients are really concerned about the shine and the powder option is a good solution for those who want a matte finish. Most good sunscreens don’t have a chalky finish at this point but working the sunscreen into the skin generally eliminates this problem easily.

By the end of the summer, most clients’ skin tend to be a little clogged with SPF but if they keep their facials up during the summer and exfoliate regularly better protected than not.

Q: About 70% of women don’t wear sunscreen on a daily basis. How do you make sure to incorporate sunscreen into your daily routine?

A: I was surprised by this statistic. It seems very high. My simple answer is educate the client and keep reiterating the dangers of not protecting the skin. We also encourage our clients to get a full body mole check every year and work with a dermatologist to send them to. Many clients feel that wearing a foundation/make-up that has sunscreen in the formula is enough but we tell them to wear an SPF under their make-up and call the foundation icing on the cake.

Q: Many people with acne worry that sunscreen will clog their pores and make their acne worse. What do you look for in an SPF for someone with acneic skin?

A: For acneic clients we recommend a mineral based powder that has an SPF 30. Our male clients also like this.

Q: A lot of people skip applying SPF in the morning because their makeup has SPF in it. Is the SPF in makeup enough?

A: The short answer is no. Many clients feel that wearing a foundation/make-up that has sunscreen in the formula is enough but we tell them to wear an SPF under their make-up and call the foundation icing on the cake.

Q: Do people of all skin tones need to wear SPF? Why?

A: I think all skin tones should use SPF. The sun doesn’t discriminate.

Q: What do you look for in a daily SPF?

A: A sunscreen with moisturizer is a plus – two steps on one – and I do like the physical blocks because they are less irritating. However if I am going to be out for an extended period of time I wear both types – physical and chemical – along with hats and UV clothing.

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